On July 23, 1996, at 1140 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 182, N8787X, was substantially damaged during an emergency landing near Weed, California. The pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at Eatonville, Washington, at 0900 on the morning of the accident.

The pilot obtained a preflight weather briefing prior to departure. He stated to the briefer that he was en route to Red Bluff, California, and he estimated 3 hours. In cruise flight the pilot was receiving flight following services from the Seattle Center. At 1135, the pilot reported a loss of engine power and requested vectors to the nearest airport. The Center advised that the Weed Airport was at 12 o'clock and 10 miles.

The pilot reported that after takeoff he set the fuel selector for the right fuel tank. Approximately 2.5 hours into the flight he experienced an engine loss of power. He stated that he made a right turn away from mountainous terrain. He enriched the mixture and applied carburetor heat, which appeared to help momentarily. He squawked 7700 and radioed flight watch with a mayday. He established a glide and attempted to utilize his GPS to navigate to Weed, but mis-entered the identifier. He determined that he could not make it to Weed and began looking for a place to land. Subsequently, in a routine scan of the controls, he switched the fuel valve to both.

The usable fuel per tank in this airplane is 27.5 gallons. Postaccident examination quantified 17 gallons remaining in the left fuel tank and .5 gallons in the right tank. The carburetor and the fuel gascolator were found to be dry.

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